When "It happens" we can help. Free phone consultation. Make the call today: 972-559-4548

When "It Happens" we can help. We will be happy to discuss your situation. The phone consultation is free so make the call today: 972-559-4548

Frequently Asked Questions

Representing yourself in court is an enormous risk. In fact, State Prosecutors are instructed to NOT inform you of all your options. So, if you don’t know your rights, defending yourself is extremely difficult. You need an attorney who is dedicated to representing you with an aggressive criminal defense. Attorney Shannon Edwards is here to help answer your questions, guide you through the process and insure that your rights are protected.

Q: How does my free phone consultation work?
Questions answered by Attorney Shannon Edwards - ShannonEdwardsLaw.com

First you will need to contact our office and discuss your situation with Shannon's Legal Assistant. You can either call now or send us a message with your contact information and when would be the best time to call you.

She will ask you about the circumstance related to your arrest and go over the costs and payment plan options with you. She will answer all of your questions that she can. She isn't a Lawyer so the more technical legal questions will have to be answered by Shannon. When you call Shannon may be in court or with another client so it may not be possible for you to talk to her at that time. In that case she will arrange for your free consultation call with Shannon.

Q: How much will a lawyer cost me?

Our law offices charge a flat rate and you can call our offices for a quote. The rate that you are quoted is the final cost, there are not additional hourly charges. We accept cash, check, money order and credit card payments. We understand that this is not an expense you we planning for and we will try to work out a payment plan that meets your financial situation.

Q: How much time will I have to take off work to meet with you?

None, we will come to you. We understand the stress and anxiety that you're already dealing with. Having to take time off from work and explain the reason to your boss just adds more. We are mobile and we will schedule meetings with you at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant to fit your schedule.

Q: How long will it be before my case is settled?

There isn't a specific amount of time until your case will be settled. There are a lot of factors that will influence the process including whether you decide to take a plea the prosecution offers or you decide to go to trial. For a DWI charge, on average, if you don't go to trial a case takes about 6 months to be settled. For a Drug Possession or other Criminal charges Shannon will have to answer that on a case by case basis.

Q: Will I go to jail for a 1st time criminal conviction?

Under Texas law, jail time is a penalty for a misdemeanor. However, if this is your first time, it will likely be probation. The probation may be tied to a deferred jail sentence that you will receive if you violate your probation terms.

Q: What are the penalties if I'm convicted for a misdemeanor?

For a Class B misdemeanor (ex: Theft 50-500, DWI 1st, Possession Marijuana <2oz)

  • $2,000 maximum fine
  • Up to six months behind bars
  • Suspended driver’s license for up to a year
  • Court costs and fees are additional

For a Class A misdemeanor (ex: DWI 2nd, Theft 500-1500, Assault, Possession of Dangerous Drug)

  • $4,000 maximum fine
  • Up to one year behind bars
  • Suspended driver’s license for up to two years
  • Court costs and fees are additional
Q: How long does a conviction stay on my record? Can it be expunged?

In Texas there is no time limit for convictions. However several offenses may have options available for a reduction, a deferred sentence, or a pretrial diversion program that would allow you to seal or expunge your record. A DWI in Texas is permanent on your record.

Q: Do I have to appear in court and how often?

Yes. You will have to come before the court to enter a plea and for sentencing if you're found guilty. Beyond that it depends on the charges, county and court that you are being processed in. Every court is different. We will be able to discuss this with you when you call.

Q: What happens to my Texas driver’s license if I'm charged with a DWI?

Your license will be taken by the arresting officer and a temporary license will be issued for a limited time (40 days). Further, if you or one of your attorneys do not ask for an Administrative Licensing hearing within fifteen days of the arrest, and you do not have a Texas driver’s license, then the license will be made invalid in the state of issue. If an Administrative Licensing Revocation Program (ALR) hearing is not requested or this hearing is lost, on a first DWI charge, a suspension of three months will be placed on your license. If you have refused the requests of the police for sobriety tests your license will be suspended for at least 6 months. It is of crucial importance that the ALR is contacted within fifteen days of the arrest by either an attorney or the defendant. If this is not processed in the correct manner a suspension will come into effect 40 days after the arrest.

Q: What happens to my license if I fail or refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, or the test shows a 0.08 blood alcohol level and you refuse to take a blood test, your license will immediately be taken away from you and will likely be suspended for 6 months. This 6 months is in additional to any licenses suspension you may later get if convicted on a criminal DWI charge.

Q: Is it possible to get driving privileges if my license is suspended for a DWI or drug conviction?

Yes, you can apply for an Occupational Drivers License (ODL). An ODL is a limited use drivers license that can be used for going to work, medical appointments, church and school. You can drive with and ODL license for up to 12 hours a day. The State of Texas will charge you a fee for an ODL.

Q: What if I wasn’t driving when I was arrested?

The laws in Texas, as far as “operating” a motor vehicle, are changing. The charge is not actually “driving” but “operating”. However this distinction has not been defined by the law and it is up to a jury what “operating” means.

Q: What is a DWI Surcharge?

A DWI surcharge is a fine every year for 3 years to keep your drivers license.

  • First time DWI surcharge fee- $1,000 a year.
  • Second time DWI surcharge fee- $1,500 a year.
  • Third time DWI surcharge fee- $2,000 a year.
Q: What is the difference between DWI and DUI?

DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

DUI: Driving Under the Influence

In Texas, the difference is a matter of age. If you are over the age of 21 you will probably be charged with DWI if you are mentally impaired or have a blood alcohol level above 0.08. However, if you are under the age of 21 it's illegal for you to drink, period. It's illegal for you to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol so you will probably be charged with DUI, even if they are not impaired by it. Of course, if you’re under 21, you can still be charged with Texas DWI if you're driving intoxicated. The choice is left up to officer who arrests or cites you.

Q: What does it mean if I'm charged for Possession?

Drug possession charges occur whenever a person knowingly and intentionally has control of an illegal drug. Whether it’s marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any other narcotics, both federal and state laws criminalize the possession of these illegal substances. The consequences for possessing illegal drugs depend upon the amount and the intent of the possessor.

Q: What does it mean if I'm charged for Manufacture or Distribution?

Manufacturing, cultivating or distributing controlled substances can put you at risk of criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, someone charged with possessing an illegal drug may end up facing the serious charge of possession with the intent to distribute. Intent to distribute crimes, also known as “drug dealing”, have larger consequences than simple possession. They are usually based on the amount of drugs a person is found with, the drug’s purity, or by other evidence showing the accused intended to sell them and not just use them personally.

Q: Can I be convicted of possessing a drug if I wasn’t the only person there?

Yes, under Texas law multiple people may possess a drug. However, your mere presence is not enough to convict. The state is required to show some additional possession or knowledge to connect you to the drugs.